After my whirlwind time in Spain, I immediately made my way back to my bed in New York City and blissfully slept away the weekend…just kidding. If you know me, you know my trips always have a complex itinerary – this was no different! I landed in JFK, was met by my S.O. (thankfully carting a suitcase full of new clothes to supplement the backpack I had for the week I spent abroad!), and immediately flew up to Montreal for a weekend wedding (and let’s not talk about the rest of this week as I return to work, which includes stops in Hanover, NH, Miami, and Trenton).
Thankfully, Montreal was a great place to get over jetlag – although most of our time was taken up with wedding festivities, I did have a chance to explore the charming Old Town area. Before crashing (after my 9 hour flight back to the USA, 4 hour layover in JFK and flight into Montreal), I went to an Indian restaurant near the hotel called Le 409 – I have to say, it was a great introduction to Montreal’s vibrant restaurant scene, with one of the tangiest vindaloos I’ve tried and a strong but tasty cocktail. I’m a sucker for good Indian food and this definitely hit the spot. Early Saturday morning, I woke up and found myself looking for a place to grab breakfast and do a bit of work. The Old Town area boasts many options, each of which has well-priced French fare.
I thought I had ordered an omelette with tomatoes and veggies (to make up for my week of indulgence in Spain), but they fortunately served me something better: potatoes and cheese. It was a solid start to the morning. After finishing up my couple hours of work, I decided to explore the Old Town area before the wedding festivities for the day got started (and while I waited for my boyfriend to finish the morning’s religious wedding services I wasn’t expected to attend). It’s a gorgeous walk, with winding back alleys, beautiful window boxes, and classic architectural elements.
Of course, I had to check out the Notre Dame Basilica, as well as the “English Pug and French Poodle” statue, which is an interesting representation of French religion and English power in Montreal.
Finally, the morning’s wedding activities finished up and my boyfriend was able to join me for lunch and a romantic stroll around Old Town. We grabbed lunch at a French restaurant, where he ordered steak and I was enticed by the mussels and fries. It was delicious.
After our meal, we decided to walk to the waterfront, where we saw a ferris wheel. I somehow talked him into riding it with me, and so minutes later we found ourselves enclosed in a glass pod, swaying violently in the wind as we ascended, both somehow only then realizing we both have established dislikes of both heights and turbulence and that this was a terrible ‘date’ idea. However, the view was worth the anxiety and nausea that accompanied the ride – it’s a beautiful, 360 view of Montreal.
After the ferris wheel, we strolled back towards the hotel to prepare for the evening’s wedding activities. Of course, we had to stop to purchase a bottle of maple syrup (to the disappointment of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent at the Quebec / Vermont border, who chastised me for purchasing in Canada rather than in the ‘US’s largest maple syrup producing state!’). The walk back was beautiful as well.
The rest of the weekend passed in a flurry of wedding activities – let’s just say that French Canadians know how to throw a good party!